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Published on September 15, 2020

9 Ways to Stop Complicating Life and Start Living

9 Ways to Stop Complicating Life and Start Living

Yes, we’ve all been there—those times when life seems so incredibly complicated that we have no idea what we should be doing next. These are the moments where you need to pause, take a breath, and relax. Because the truth is, we often overcomplicate things. We prevent ourselves from clearly visualizing the problem because we panic.

In this article, I am going to walk you through some of the ways that you can stop complicating life and begin truly living.

Sounds pretty awesome right? Let’s get right into it!

1. You’re a Work in Progress

Look, you’re a work in progress, and you likely always will be. It’s time for you to accept that fact. The beauty is that you’re not alone. Everyone else on this planet is in the same boat. If our ships are sinking on this issue, we’re sinking together.

Remember, just because you’re a work in progress doesn’t mean that you’re not good enough. It simply highlights that you’re still trying to improve and that you have more to learn. If you aren’t a work in progress at this point, I feel truly sorry for you. You’re missing out.

Overall, my point here is to stop complicating things because you feel you’re not good enough. You certainly are good enough. So, stop hating on yourself for not being perfect.

2. Live Honestly

You have no idea how many people I see overcomplicate their lives because they choose to live immorally. Not only does this make them look bad but they feel bad about themselves as well.

When you lie, cheat, and steal to get ahead or benefit yourself in some other way, you complicate things for yourself. You’re always worrying about whether or not you’re going to get caught or whether or not it’s all going to catch up to you—as you should be!

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So, stop living this way. Live morally. Be kind to others and live an honest life. Stop complicating life by being a bad person. Just keep things simple by doing the things that you know are right at your heart and at your core.

3. Communicate Clearly

This is probably one of the most significant ways to remove some of your life’s complexity. Too many people cause problems for themselves simply because they don’t know how to communicate effectively.

They say things they don’t mean or mean things they don’t say, and this creates problems. Nobody is a mind reader, so if what we say isn’t clear, it’s likely going to be misinterpreted and that’s going to cause problems down the line!

If you practice good and clear communication regularly, you’ll notice just how much this impacts your life and the problems that it helps you avoid. Don’t underestimate this crucial skill and just how much it influences your daily life.

4. Stop Being Too Materialistic

Yikes, this is a big one. Far too many of us are driven by the script that society forces on us telling us that we need more of everything.

Quantity is never going to be all that it’s hyped up to be. Quality is always going to be better than quantity. So, instead of trying to hoard everything, seek out quality in the things that you seek to possess—whether that’s materials, friendships, or experiences doesn’t truly matter.

Stop trying to spend money that you don’t have to impress people that you don’t even care about impressing.

Wealth isn’t obtained through material possessions, so manage it wisely. Simply trying to reduce your craving for material possessions will go a long towards reducing the complexity of your lifestyle.

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5. Don’t Waste Time Changing People

If you want to make your life more complex than it’s ever been, start spending your time trying to change and control the people around you. I guarantee they will not appreciate your efforts and will eventually cause you to dislike your own life.

So, stop complicating life by beginning to just accept people for the way that they are. Save yourself the trouble of trying to change and control people who don’t want you to influence them in this way.

Just appreciate them for who they are and if you can’t do that, then maybe it’s time to consider whether or not you should be spending your time with someone else.

6. Reduce Exposure to Toxic People

You truly are the average of the people that you decide to surround yourself with. That’s why it’s important to continually be auditing your social circle.

If you have the choice, spend more time with people who are smart, mature, driven, and kind and less time with the people who are the opposite. This is because one group is going to pull you and your development forward, whereas the other group will hold you back.

That’s not to say you have to avoid these people entirely, you just have to reduce your exposure to them.

Life is quick and if you spend in with the wrong people, you risk ending up with some serious regrets. Additionally, if these people have toxic tendencies, chances are some of the problems in your life stem from them rather than from yourself.

Trust me, you don’t need their help in making your life more difficult or challenging.

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7. Stop Procrastinating Everything

Look, we both know that you do this. We all do it from time to time. But procrastination is one of the biggest stressors that we impose onto ourselves in our lives. And we do it willingly. Why? There’s no good reason for this added stress.

We know that we have to get something done, yet we continually leave it until the last minute. This unnecessarily complicates our lives. So, do whatever it is that you need to do to eliminate procrastination from your life as much as possible.

Make to-do lists, make a schedule, and set deadlines for yourself that are well ahead of when something needs to be completed by. Do whatever you need to do to get things done early.

This way will help you to stop complicating life and get on top of things. And when you’ve finally got everything together, you’ll feel more in control of your life and this will help you to live more fully.

8. Learn How to Say No

Look, you can’t do everything for everyone. If you try to say yes to everyone, you’re going to end up disappointing more people than you please, and you’ll complicate your life in the process.

It’s a lose-lose scenario. You don’t need that in your life.

Ironically, learning how to say no to some people sometimes is going to help you in multiple ways.

First, it’s going to allow you to focus on the people and opportunities that you truly want to spend time on. That will help you to be happier over an average day simply because you’re doing the things that you want to do.

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Second, it’s going to allow you to be more present with those people and opportunities. That will allow you to bring your full self to each situation so you can have the biggest positive impact possible.

So, do yourself a massive favor and stop making all those promises that you either can’t or don’t want to keep. Overcommitting yourself will result in you spreading yourself too thin and that will make you miserable.

9. Focus More on Things You Can Control

Look, life is crazy sometimes. I get it. We all have that craving to control things because it makes us feel better about all that chaos.

However, you could try your entire life and still come nowhere close to controlling all of it. That’s why it’s better to simply begin figuring out what things you can and can’t control. Once you’ve done that you can begin focusing on what you can control.

By focusing your energy on the things you can control, you spare yourself from wasted time and energy trying to control things you have no influence over. Not only will that reduce your stress but it will also be good for your mental health in the long-run.

This is a great way to stop complicating life and begin progressing in the right direction because your energy becomes fixated on the areas that matter.

Final Thoughts

This list is by no means exhaustive. There are countless other ways that you could also stop complicating life to live more fully. These are just some common suggestions that people find useful.

So, pick and choose which of these might make sense to your life. Figure out which ones are going to help you make progress towards reducing stress and complexity.

You work hard. You owe it to yourself to also live fully.

More Tips on How to Stop Complicating Life

Featured photo credit: Maksym Kaharlytskyi via unsplash.com

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Mark Lynch

Featured Life-Balance, & Personal Development Author

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Published on September 25, 2020

5 Powerful Self-Care Ideas for When Life Is Stressful

5 Powerful Self-Care Ideas for When Life Is Stressful

Stress doesn’t discriminate. It affects everyone, invariably in different ways. Regardless of how stress shows up in your life, I think we can all agree that it’s present. When it does show up, it takes over the show. It then becomes difficult to stay in the present moment or show gratitude for what and who we have in our life. In the eye of the stress storm, everything is tossed around into oblivion. This is probably when self-care finally comes to our mind.

How Does Stress Show Up?

On a physical scale, stress tends to be behind many of our typical ailments, such as headaches, insomnia, muscle tension, or body aches and pain.[1] When we’re in stressful situations, our body activates our fight-or-flight response. According to the American Institute of Stress, when the body is in this mode due to stress, “the body’s sympathetic nervous system is activated due to the sudden release of hormones. The sympathetic nervous system stimulates the adrenal glands, triggering the release of catecholamines, which include adrenaline and noradrenaline. This results in an increase in heart rate, blood pressure, and breathing rate.”[2]

Why is this important? While our fight-or-flight response is extremely helpful when we’re in situations that risk our survival, not every situation is that dire. However, the body doesn’t know how to differentiate between such scenarios. Rather, we become accustomed to seeing every stressful situation as dire, and essentially locked into this fight-or-flight response automatically. This causes us to burn out because our body is constantly fighting or fleeing from threats that are not causing us any real harm.

On a mental and emotional scale, according to the Mayo Clinic, “Stress symptoms can affect your body, your thoughts and feelings, and your behavior.” Everything is interconnected. When our physical body takes a toll due to stress, this has a domino effect on how we process our thoughts and feelings. Therefore, it is not uncommon to see correlations between depression and anxiety when it comes to dealing with stress.

How to Combat Stress?

Below are five self-care ideas for combating stress in your life. Consider implementing them into your daily routine for the best results.

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1. Start a Brain Dump Writing Exercise

When you’re overwhelmed with thoughts, it can become very difficult to stay present and focused. This could affect you at work, in school, or in your relationships. It’s as if your mind were filled to the brim with thoughts that are constantly competing for your attention. If left unattended, this can affect your performance or your state of being. Stress is just brewing!

One exercise to get this under control is called a Brain Dump, and it’s exactly how it sounds. Start by getting comfortable with a pen and paper or your favorite journal. Without any special formatting or introduction, just start writing any and all thoughts that come up. Consider your paper a blank canvas onto which you’re going to spill every thought, no matter how small or unimportant. This can look like a laundry list, a jumble of words, or a paragraph. Don’t think too much of how it looks. The idea is to give your thoughts an exit. Once they’re on paper, they’re no longer swimming in your head for attention.

Once you have them written down, leave them as they are. We have a tendency to want to fix our thoughts. Instead, allow them to simply exist as they are — they’re not right or wrong. Consider coming back to this exercise daily or whenever you feel like you have a lot on your mind.

2. Sweat It Out

There is nothing more therapeutic than moving the physical body when it feels the weight of stress. Energetically, we carry our day in our body! If we’ve had a particularly difficult day, that energy is going to feel tense and unsettling. This is why it’s so important to move and really break a sweat!

According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America,[3]

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“Scientists have found that regular participation in aerobic exercise has been shown to decrease overall levels of tension, elevate and stabilize mood, improve sleep, and improve self-esteem.”

Find what exercise regimen works for you, and commit to it for a few days per week. Scientists have also found that even 10-15 minutes of aerobic exercise can have a tremendous effect on your body. Go for a run, take a spin class or a power yoga class, or dance the stress away in Zumba. Whatever gets your heart rate up and breaks a sweat is one of the perfect self-care ideas to keep the stress away.

3. Seek the Care of a Therapist

Sometimes writing out our thoughts and feelings doesn’t seem quite enough. This is common and to be expected. After all, we are complex human beings who want to understand and process our emotions on a deeper level. This is why having a regular therapy session is so beneficial!

In the presence of a professional, we can open up about what stressful situations we’re going through. We don’t have to keep our emotions bottled up, and we know that our honesty will be protected and safeguarded.

Additionally, when we’re feeling stressed, we often want to simply vent and get things off of our chest. Having someone on the receiving end who will simply listen and hold space is a truly healing gift. We can often leave the session feeling more empowered, seen, and offloaded of the stress we brought in.

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Lastly, we may be able to receive guidance from our therapist on a particular situation we’re struggling with. Having someone else’s perspective on something we’re too emotionally close to can be just the right solution.

Here are more self-care ideas from a therapist: Self Care Tips During Difficult Times (A Therapist’s Advice).

4. Interrupt Your Day

This may seem like a derailing technique, but give it a shot! Interrupting your day means introducing something entirely new or random into a routine that is very monotonous or typical.

If your work or school day is the same sequence of events every single day, bringing in an interruption can be quite conducive to your productivity and creativity. This can look like pausing in the middle of the day for a yoga stretch at your desk or in your office. It could be playing your favorite playlist in-between meetings or taking a walk outside for lunch. Not only does this stir up new energy for your day, but it can also de-stress your day.

As I said in the earlier tip, when we’re too close to a situation or conflict, we have a harder time breaking away. We’re so emotionally and mentally invested that we don’t see how that proximity is affecting our health. So, interrupt yourself when you’re feeling stress coming on, and do something fun, random, and refreshing.

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5. Get Some Energy Work Done

Energy work is anything that is being done to improve the circulation and energetic flow of the body. This could be a massage, Reiki session, chiropractic adjustment, or acupuncture. As I said in a previous tip, moving the body helps move the energy that is blocked or stuck. This is why exercise is so important. However, sometimes we need a session where that work is done for us by a licensed professional. In such treatments, we have the luxury to relax and receive the benefits of the treatment. It’s a beautiful way to self-care!

Final Thoughts

Stress is unfortunately a common part of our life. It affects everyone, but to what extent it affects you is personal. One thing is for sure, and that is that stress has a tremendous effect on our physical, mental, and emotional state. This is why regular exercise is so important, as well as mental stimulation and emotional release. These self-care ideas won’t necessarily guard you from ever feeling stressed, but they will help you manage it better.

More Self-Care Ideas

Featured photo credit: Alisa Anton via unsplash.com

Reference

[1] Mayo Clinic: Stress Management
[2] The American Institute of Stress: How the Fight or Flight Response Works
[3] Anxiety and Depression Association of America: Physical Activity Reduces Stress

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